Whatever's going on, I've only had one or two days of feeling lackluster and sort of "Oh, what's the use?" I think one of those days was because I hadn't been sleeping well, and the other was because I live with an adolescent who believes himself to be God or one of His close associates. You'd have to sit in front of a SAD lamp for days at a time, maybe years, to not feel depressed after dealing with a cranky teenager.
One of the great things about being a writer is that you can go down all sorts of rabbit holes in the name of "research." Recently, I've gotten very interested in quilting in the 1930s. It all started when I watched a wonderful PBS documentary called "A Century of Quilts: America in Cloth." Quilting took off like a house on fire after the Great Depression because it was something a woman could do that didn't necessarily cost a lot of money. Newpapers printed patterns and ran columns such as "Nancy Page's Quilting Club"* (Nancy Page being the nom de plume of Florence LaGanke). There were quilting bees and lots of contests, and you could buy yourself a copy of Needlecraft magazine for a dime.
Domestic history has always been one of my favorite areas of study. I like learning about how families lived throughout history, and what women's lives were like. I especially like reading about what women cooked and what they made. Last week I bought a couple of books about quilting in the 1930s, and both of them are chock full of amazing, beautiful lively quilts. Hard times, yes, but sometimes I think the greatest art is made when life is less than easy.
I'm about ready for spring, aren't you? Do you have any spring dreams? I think my spring will revolve around writing and quilt making. My mom and I are going to the big quilt show in Cincinnati in April, and I'm set to make quilts for the school director and the administrative assistant for Our Fine Lower School.
This is our last year at Our Fine Lower School, and I'm feeling sort of sad about it. I went to a lunch at the lower school library last week for a visiting writer, and all the teachers there told me funny stories about Will and wanted to know how Jack was doing. It's such a loving, nurturing place, unlike Our Fine Middle School, which is a jungle. Okay, not a jungle. Maybe more like a big city where no one knows your name.
Anyway, I'm going to make springlike quilts and plant some flowers in my garden and look forward to May, when I can go strawberry picking. These thoughts, I hope, will carry me through the next few gloomy weeks. What will help you make it over to the other side of winter (or summer, for those of you suffering through the heat down under)?
*for an interesting video about Nancy Page, go here: http://vimeo.com/28386634